- Jun 2015

Tech Tuesday: Volkswagen’s Trailer Assist

Once upon a time, my mother decided to move her business premises. Instead of hiring a moving company, she did what any mother with two sons working in the motor industry would do, she exploited us. My brother and I both had access to Bakkies that we could use for personal use, provided we bought the relevant manager some lunch.  I used a Volkswagen Amarok, a bakkie that can tow at ease and my brother used an Isuzu KB, another great workhorse. I needed to tow a large trailer, which I thought would be a cinch and it was in fact. I felt like such a hardcore guy in my big Volkswagen Amarok, which was then fitted with higher suspension and a Taxi proof nudge bar. My hardcore feelings of manliness were ruined when the time came for me to park this man truck that was lugging fridges and washing machines.

I had never parked a car towing a trailer before, let alone a two ton Bakkie. I then did what any other man would do, I tried anyway.  In hindsight, I should have admitted to my shortcomings before attempting the manoeuvre and allowed my brother who had parked a car pulling a trailer before to take over. The sound of a trailer knocking into something isn’t good, nor is the sound of the people watching all this happen. So you can be sure that I was quite pleased when I heard that new Volkswagen Passat will have an option called “Trailer-Assist”. As the name states, this option will be brilliant for people like myself to avoid embarrassment and even emasculation. The system uses the Park Assist option as its base but makes it better. The great thing is that Trailer Assist even helps you when it comes to matching up the hitch and the car, ensuring that you look like a professional all the time. My gripe with Park Assist is that it seldom works the way you want it to, so I hope the folks at Volkswagen will get this feature right. The video below has given me the confidence to say that this will be a very useful option to those who pull trailers frequently. Happy Tech Tuesday Motorists.